Business travel is back.
A new survey by the National Business Travel Association found that the average corporate travel budget was up 5.5 percent in 2010 compared to last year and will grow another 4.45 percent in 2011.
"Given the difficulties the industry faced during this last recession, corporate travel buyers welcome the improved conditions, and companies are already getting their teams back on the road to help build business," said Craig Banikowski, NBTA chief executive.
The report surveys 170 North American corporate travel buyers and found that 72 percent of them feel the business travel industry is better today compared to one year ago and another 63 percent believe it will improve over the next 12 months.
However, while corporate travel buyers are spending more this year, the survey found it is not because there are more business travelers. Instead, the rising budget is due to an increase in airline fees, higher fares and higher hotel rates.
"As the economy continues to improve and both domestic and international costs rise, we will see airlines and hotels wield more negotiation power," Banikowski said. "Many travel buyers are already experiencing more strict market thresholds and expect this to result in smaller corporate discounts going forward."